Newton Falls collects documentation, hopes to declare disaster - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Newton Falls collects documentation, hopes to declare disaster

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NEWTON FALLS, Ohio - Newton Falls residents drying out from heavy rains that flooded the area hope proof of their hardship will lead to federal assistance.

The city experienced at least two heavy rainfalls during a four week period. The most recent dropped 4.5 inches of rain in one hour.

The rain was more than the city's sewer system could handle and quickly turned low lying areas and streets into rivers and ponds.

"Our basement had two feet of water," said Resident Brenda Koontz. "It happened twice in less than a month and it just down pours and the water has no place to go."

At a public meeting held on Thursday, residents brought pictures and information about the cost of damage they experienced from the flooding, and how much of the cost insurance carriers did not cover.

City officials hope the documentation will build a case for the city to be declared a "disaster" and eligible for federal aid.

"We're looking at sewer separations, drainage retention areas, ditches, anything that can actually alleviate the situation," said City Manager Jack Haney.

City officials caution: the application process is still in the beginning phase, and there is no guarantee the city will meet all the standards.

"They apply points to the different criteria in the grants and the more points you get the higher up the ladder you are," explained Mayor Lyle Waddell. "So, you know, it depends on how you scale into that grant whether you qualify or not."

Residents are still being asked to submit pictures and details of damage.

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